Book on Rotary Club of Madras released

The history and legacy of the third oldest club in India and the oldest Rotary club in South India, the Rotary Club of Madras, took centre stage on Tuesday, as former and current members of the club came together for a book release as part of the club’s 90th-year celebrations.

The book, A timeless legacy, documents the journey of the club through the years and the involvement of its members in various community projects and services. Originally published in 2003, a revised edition of the book was published in 2009 and the latest edition has been updated with strides taken by the club in the last decade.

N.K. Gopinath, former president of the club and chairman of the archives committee, said: “The Rotary International headquarters in Evanston, Illinois, had archives which were of great help. The archives from the Gymkhana club and The Hindu also helped. From 1959, we had a weekly newsletter, copies of which were saved and this too gave us an insight into the evolution of the club.”Historian V. Sriram released the book and the first copy was received by Babu Peram, Rotary district governor.

A parallel history

“The history of the club runs parallel to the history of several organisations of that era, which includes the Madras Port Trust and the Madras Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Godfrey Armstrong, who was the first president of the club, was the chairman of the Port Trust and I notice that several founding members of the club were key businessmen from the city involved in commerce and trade,” Mr. Sriram noted. Ranjit Pratap, club president, said that the club was on an important journey and would ensure that the community and service projects kept getting stronger in the years to come.

The Department of Posts released a commemorative stamp for 90 years of the club on the occasion.

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